SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Campaign signs are about to be everywhere as campaign season kicks into high gear, and the Shreveport City Council is considering an ordinance that will change how they are defined.
Ordinance 109 won’t significantly change the rules about how and where they can be displayed, but it would amend various articles and sections of existing city codes to eliminate the definition of “political signs.”
The Shreveport-Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission proposed the changes in response to a 2015 Supreme Court decision that essentially makes it unconstitutional for a municipality to impose restrictions on content-based signage. Courts have interpreted the broad ruling in Reed to mean a sign ordinance is unconstitutional if an official is required to read the sign’s message to determine which regulations apply.
Right now, Shreveport’s code of ordinances contains a separate definition for political signs that reads as follows:
Sec. 50-190. – Political signs.(Ord. No. 66, 2019 , §§ 21, 22, 6-11-19) – Shreveport Unified Development Code
A temporary sign identifying and urging voter support for a particular election issue, political party, or candidate in connection with any national, state, or local election.
The revised ordinance would eliminate the political category of temporary signs regulated under the city’s Unified Development Code (UDC) and make them subject to the same rules as all temporary signs, both residential and commercial.
That includes limits on a sign’s size, location, illumination, and placement on private property. The proposed new regulations read as follows:
- Temporary signs are permitted in all districts.
- Temporary signs erected in residential districts shall be no larger than 8 square feet.
- Temporary signs erected in non-residential districts shall be no larger than 16 square feet.
- Any temporary sign larger than 16 square feet is considered a freestanding sign and shall follow all freestanding sign regulations.
- Temporary signs advertising a one-time event shall not be erected more than 90 days prior to the event and shall be removed within seven days following the end of the event.
- Temporary signs shall not be illuminated.
- Temporary signs shall not advertise off-premises commercial activity.
- All temporary signs shall be set back 10 feet from any property line.
- Temporary signs shall not be erected within Shreveport’s public right-of-way.
The city council advanced the proposed changes Tuesday afternoon. Final passage of the ordinance is expected on August 9.